Pecorino romano

Fusilli Lunghi With Avocado And Sambal

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Two weeks ago I prepared avocado preserve. In the meantime I used most of it for breakfast, different egg preparations as well as different sidings such as focaccia, tortillas and rice.
For today’s delicious pasta dish I used the last of the preserve.
I am happy to say that the preserve held up wonderful – it looked, smelled and tasted as beautiful as on the day I prepared it.
I am sure it would have lasted in perfect condition another one or two weeks – Good Stuff 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Avocado  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to learn about  Pecorino Cheese
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Click here for  Avocado Preserve Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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Fusilli Lunghi With Avocado And Sambal

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Fusilli Lunghi With Avocado And Sambal

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mix well, check/adjust seasoning; if too dry, add some of the cooking water, add more Pecorino Romano and Sambal Olek (optional)

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Avocado Preserve

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Pasta NOT Carbonara

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While  I am a great fan of  “real” pasta carbonara, I can only enjoy it completely when the egg’s are free range and completely fresh.
Not what I had in my fridge today, nor did I have the required guanciale and pecorino . Also, in it’s original form, it is most often made with spaghetti.
So what I prepared today for lunch is only a distant cousin of carbonara, although in my humble opinion, it is at least as good if not better 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Pasta "NOT Carbonara"

Pasta “NOT Carbonara”

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saute bucatini until slightly crisp, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

saute bucatini until slightly crisp, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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top with very thinly sliced capicola (copa ham)

top with very thinly sliced capicola (copa ham)

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add eggs, mixed with finely grated asiago cheese

add eggs, mixed with finely grated asiago cheese

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cook until eggs are set

cook until eggs are set

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Remove to serving dish, sprinkle with more black pepper and asiago

Remove to serving dish, sprinkle with more black pepper and asiago

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drizzle a bit of tomato sauce

drizzle with a bit of tomato sauce

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Pasta "NOT Carbonara"

Pasta “NOT Carbonara”

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Spaghetti With Walnut, Cashew & Cilantro Pesto, Dried Cranberries And Pecorino Romano

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Dear Friends,

I had to think long and hard what I’ll do without Maria. I came to the conclusion that she would not have wanted me to give up life at this point (I was close, but thanks God for Bella…).
I am aware that the pain of losing her will never go away, but I will have to take care of Bella and myself in order to honer the memory of Maria.
Since Maria was the biggest fan of “ChefsOpinion”, I have decided to start posting again and hope that she still enjoys reading it wherever she is and sharing the dishes with me in spirit.
I hereby dedicate all future posts to Maria and our love for each other, our love for sweet Bella and our love for good food everywhere 🙂

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Todays lunch had all the usual ingredients of my cooking style :
Lot’s of taste, texture and simplicity.
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Spaghetti With Walnut, Cashew & Cilantro Pesto, Dried Cranberries and Pecorino Romano

Spaghetti With Walnut, Cashew & Cilantro Pesto, Dried Cranberries and Pecorino Romano

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Ingredient’s :

Spaghetti,   cooked al dente, some cooking liquid reserved
Walnuts,   shelled
Cashew nuts,   shelled
Olive oil,
Cilantro,
Cranberries,   freeze dried
Pecorino romano,   finely grated
Kosher salt,
Black pepper,

Method :

In a blender blend nuts, olive oil, cilantro, salt, pepper and cheese until your preferred texture is reached, If too thick, add more oil, if too thin, add a bit more cheese. Remove from blender and add the cranberries. Let steep for at least two hours.
Mix with freshly cooked and drained spaghetti and a small amount of the cooking liquid. If required, add more cheese and/or cooking liquid.
To serve, sprinkle with more cheese and freshly grated black pepper.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !  (Mostly, Sometimes  🙂

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Chickenbreast & Zitoni Tagliati In Spicy Red Wine & Mascarpone Cream

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Sitting outside in the fresh air the whole evening and most of the night, having good conversations, listening to good music, drinking good wine and just having a great time for many hours has usually different results. Some folks get tipsy, some get tired, some get overly excited about the topics of the night. However, my friends and I usually can agree to one thing around the time midnight strikes: Time to eat ! And no matter how many times my buddies find their way to the fridge and the bar to get more drinks, somehow they always forget where I keep the raw food and the pots and pans.
So, as usual, friday night we all decided we had to have a substantial midnight snack.
Also, as usual, everybody decided that the only one “qualified and sober enough” to do the job of feeding us all would be me 🙂
Here is the crowd pleaser we wolfed down last night:
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Chickenbreast & Zitoni Tagliati In Spicy Red Wine & Mascarpone Cream

Chickenbreast & Zitoni Tagliati In Spicy Red Wine & Mascarpone Cream

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Ingredients :

Chicken breast,   cut into large “chunks”
Zitoni tagliati,  cooked  al dente, some cooking liquid reserved
Broccoli florettes,   blanched
Onions,   sliced  (lots of them)
Tomatoes,   sliced
Scallions,   finely sliced
Pecorino romano,   finely grated
Mascarpone,
Red wine,   (use the one you are drinking)
Butter,
Kosher salt,
Sriracha,   (lots of it)
Roasted garlic paste,  (lots of it)

Method :

Saute chicken in butter until 160 F, remove , set aside (The carry-over heat and re-heating will take it to a safe 165F). Saute onions and garlic until onions are golden and garlic is fragrant. At this point your butter will have turned into  “buurre noisette”, light brown with a nutty flavor. Add red wine and let reduce by half. Add chicken with its juices, vegetables, pasta and seasoning, saute until heated through. Add mascarpone and pecorino romano. Mix until a creamy sauce develops. If the sauce is too thin, add more cheese, If too thick, add some of the reserved cooking liquid and / or red wine. To serve, sprinkle with more pecorino and the sliced scallions.

Bon Appetit !  Life is Good !

Always value good friends, good conversations, good food,  and good wine 🙂

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Breakfast Of Champions # 14 ”Ham & Cheese Sandwich”

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Sautéed  Wrap With Ham, Sharp Cheddar, Pecorino Romano, Egg, Spinach & Sriracha.
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Saute spinach with onions and garlic paste in butter.
Cook eggs and ham in butter.
Sprinkle grated pecorino on wrap, top with ham,
sprinkle with sharp cheddar, top with spinach,
sprinkle with more pecorino. Top with egg.
Drizzle with sriracha. Roll into tight cylinder,
Enclose tightly with aluminium foil to prevent roll
from opening while sautéing. Cut into thick slices.
Saute slowly in butter until the cheese inside the roll
has melted and a golden, crispy crust has formed on
top and bottom.  Enjoy with a glass of ice cold milk.
What a great way to start the day  🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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” Zuppa Pavese “

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There was a time when this was on nearly every Italian restaurant’s menu.
Unfortunately, over time, it was watered down at most places to a thin,
packaged chicken broth with a thin slice of white bread, an egg yolk and
a bit of crappy cheese sprinkled on top. Of course people stayed away from that crap.
However, when properly done, with love ( and a good appetite ), this soup is
pure soup-heaven.
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All about  Zuppa Pavese
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Ingredients :

Chicken stock,  seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg  (or beef stock if you prefer)
Sour dough bread,  thick sliced
Roasted garlic paste,
Whole egg,  very fresh
Pecorino romano,  (or parmigiano reggiano if you prefer)
Italian parsley,  chopped

Method :

Spread some roasted garlic paste on bread, saute or grill on one side until golden.
Remove, sprinkle finely grated cheese on the other side, gratinate until golden.
Meanwhile, heat your serving dish until very hot. Heat your broth until simmering.
Place bread in serving dish, individual portion or family style, one large slice per person.
Carefully crack one egg on each slice.Ladle soup over eggs, careful not to break them.
The eggs should be covered by the broth. Sprinkle cheese and parsley on top.
The soup is now ready to serve, but if you like your eggs more done, bake in oven a few
minutes until the eggs are done to your liking.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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” Conchiglioni, Portabellas, Peppers & Jalapenos “

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Talk  about a satisfying dish that leaves nothing to be desired.
While spicy and alive on the taste buds, the jalapenos,
garlic and chilis were just the right amount , not overbearing, but noticeable.
All in all a successful, easy, quick dish, vulgar because of the heat,
elegant and earthy because of the portabella’s.

(Sound’s like the description of someone on a dating service  🙂
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Ingredient‘s :

Giant pasta shells,                     cooked al dente, some of the cooking liquid reseved
Portabella mushrooms,            sliced
Red peppers,                                sliced
Yellow peppers,                          sliced
Jalapenos,                                   sliced   (lot’s of them)
Red peppers,                                sliced
Garlic,                                           paste
Italian parsley,                           chopped
Pecorino romano,                      grated
Salt,                                                to taste
Cayenne pepper,                         to taste
Butter,                                            to saute

Method :

Saute all vegetables, add pasta, half of the grated cheese, some whole butter and a bit of the cooking liquid. Mix well until a sauce forms from the starch of the pasta, butter, cheese and cooking liquid. Once the sauce lightly coats the pasta,  plate and sprinkle with the other half of the cheese and the parsley.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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